Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Do Unto Others

At it's very heart, Champions Online is a game designed to be PvE (Player vs. Environment).  However, it's becoming increasingly clear that many of the balancing issues in the game seem to be coming from the PvP side of the show.  Why would Cryptic use less than 2% of the intended gameplay (Hero Games) in order to pick which skills are too powerful and which aren't powerful enough, if PvE is the focus?

To put it bluntly, the environment doesn't QQ.

It's been made clear in other posts that the development team is rather small for the game, thus it's very difficult to them to keep their eyes in the game.  There's almost no forum moderation, contact with an actual GM is less frequent than Haley's Comet, and certain skills demolish content.  The goal is to identify the most overpowered skills without using a lot of labor.

So Cryptic let's everyone else do the work for them.  The best theorycrafters/PvP players make the broken builds and the "I play to fit my theme" characters whine and whine on the forum.  I don't blame them.  It's their role in the great cosmic play that is "Game Balancing."

I used to play a ton of street hockey growing up.  When we did, there was this one kid who always used to cherry pick the net in shoes while the rest of us played normal hockey on roller blades.  Of course, the solution was for someone else to take off their skates and do the exact same thing back to him, and turned into his own superhero, Indignant Man!

Everyone knows someone who at one point or another turned into Indignant Man.  Nobody likes this superhero.  Does Superman get all whinny whenever someone pulls some cryptonite shit on him?  Hell no, he finds a way to beat their ass normal style, and when the Cryptonite is gone, he beats them Super Style.

Next time some balancing happens to your skill, even if you don't PvP, think back and say "How would I feel if someone used the skill on me?"  As the old adage goes, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."  Whining that someone is dominating you at PvP is important - it let's the devs know what is really broken.  But if they just nerfed your skill and you're saying your class is unplayable, check your shirt.  You might be Indignant Man.

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